|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:
And moon, and ramparts of the mighty world-
For these consist of seeds more smooth and round
And of much smaller elements than earth.
And thus it was that ether, fraught with fire,
First broke away from out the earthen parts,
Athrough the innumerable pores of earth,
And raised itself aloft, and with itself
Bore lightly off the many starry fires;
And not far otherwise we often see
. . . . . .
And the still lakes and the perennial streams
Of The Nature of Things
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
Somebody heard the splash and they raised an awful hullabaloo.
`He's gone! Lower the boats! He's committed suicide!
No, he's swimming.' Certainly I was swimming. It's not
so easy for a swimmer like me to commit suicide by drowning.
I landed on the nearest islet before the boat left the ship's side.
I heard them pulling about in the dark, hailing, and so on, but after
a bit they gave up. Everything quieted down and the anchorage
became still as death. I sat down on a stone and began to think.
I felt certain they would start searching for me at daylight.
There was no place to hide on those stony things--
and if there had been, what would have been the good?
The Secret Sharer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Second Home by Honore de Balzac:
Usually a woman gives up her own name and takes her husband's--" An
idea forced itself upon her and made her blush. She took Roger's hand
and led him to the open piano.--"Listen," said she, "I can play my
sonata now like an angel!" and her fingers were already running over
the ivory keys, when she felt herself seized round the waist.
"Caroline, I ought to be far from hence!"
"You insist on going? Well, go," said she, with a pretty pout, but she
smiled as she looked at the clock and exclaimed joyfully, "At any
rate, I have detained you a quarter of an hour!"
"Good-bye, Mademoiselle de Bellefeuille," said he, with the gentle
irony of love.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:
imagination, --the moan of the whip-poor-will from the hillside,
the boding cry of the tree toad, that harbinger of storm, the
dreary hooting of the screech owl, to the sudden rustling in the
thicket of birds frightened from their roost. The fireflies, too,
which sparkled most vividly in the darkest places, now and then
startled him, as one of uncommon brightness would stream across
his path; and if, by chance, a huge blockhead of a beetle came
winging his blundering flight against him, the poor varlet was
ready to give up the ghost, with the idea that he was struck with
a witch's token. His only resource on such occasions, either to
drown thought or drive away evil spirits, was to sing psalm tunes
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow